Cat Tale

Cat Tale

Book Information

Greenwillow August 2012
Language Arts Curriculum

Herman Munster: “That lady welder and I are just friends. Just because I ’m a welder, you know, doesn’t mean I’m carrying a torch for her.” --The Munsters (1965)

“They pack some books and kitty chews. They choose a spot. They spot some ewes. They use a box to hide from bees. They do their best to box some fleas…” CAT TALE is the best looking, best reading children’s book employing (and thereby teaching) homophones that I have ever seen. I loved Michael Hall’s 2011 picture book THE PERFECT SQUARE, and this one is every bit as great with its trio of geometrically shaped cats and its vivid digital colors that stand out boldly against the white background.

“They flee a steer. They steer a plane. They plane a board. They board a train.” In recalling past books that have utilized homophones, I think back to the series that the late Fred Gwynn wrote and illustrated in the eighties – A CHOCOLATE MOOSE FOR DINNER; THE KING WHO RAINED; and A LITTLE PIGEON TOAD – and, being Halloween, I thought it would be a perfect day to pay a moment or two’s homage to the guy who was Herman Munster, Officer Francis Muldoon, and Judge Chamberlain Haller (“Uh, did you say ‘yutes’?”)

Lily Munster: “If you go with bad companions, some of it is bound to rub off on you.” Herman Munster: “Exactly. Which brings to mind a famous old quotation: he who lies down with dog gets up with fleas.” Eddie Wolfgang Munster: “Who said that, daddy?” Herman Munster: “I’m not sure. I think it was the man who trained Lassie.”

But, really, neither Gwynn’s works, nor several other topically-related picture books I’ve seen over the years, offer anywhere near as fun verbal and visual lessons in words that sound the same but have different meanings than does CAT TALE. This has such a breezy, infectiously lyrical, and rib-tickling tasty text that I am quite tempted to commit it to memory.  40 pages  978-0-06-191516-1

Recommended by:  Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA

See more of his recommendations:  Richie's Picks _


Three curious cats named Lillian, Tilly and William J. are about to have a word adventure.  Watch closely and you'll see words change their meanings right before your very eyes.  Can you find the word that's changing?  Can you gues what word will change next?  This is fabulous wordplay.  Fun!

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